Review In Time O’Strife, National Theatre of Scotland by Sian Thomas

On the 23rd of October, myself and my classmates from Willows High School went to the Sherman Theatre as a part of their Sherman 5 program to see a performance called In Time O’ Strife by the National Theatre of Scotland. The performance was about the miners’ strike, and the angst and difficult period of time  for the miners and their friends and family. I didn’t know of this strike before learning of it in my history class, only a few weeks ago. Learning it then I could only learn it from a political point of view, however seeing this production enabled me to see the strike from the miners and their friends or family’s point of view which gave me further insight into the strike for the pony of view of the miners.
The performance opened with the company and band playing music, singing and dancing as the audience filed in to fill the theatre. The atmosphere was lively and fun as they sang and danced up to the very beginning of the play. As the audience were taking our seats, the songs and dance numbers enthralled us, me in particular. The songs were infectious and myself and my friends couldn’t help bobbing along and dancing in our seats. Some of the songs that were joyous and happy made everyone want to get up and join in on the celebrations that were occurring, however the songs that were slow and meaningful made us all feel the fear, the deprivation, and most importantly feel the sadness that the miners, their friends and their families must have been feeling throughout this time.
When the performance started and throughout it, the thing I noticed, and was most impressed with, was the use of lighting. Numerous light switches were strewn around the set which the cast themselves used to change the lighting between scenes. The use of this was so effective. The changes of colour and density caused definite emotion to stir up during the scenes for both the performers and the audience.
The set designed by Graham McLaren created an almost antique feel to the performance. The way it was designed fit the era it was set in and the whole performance perfectly. The use of the small TV which was counting the days of the strike and the small radio on a little shelf really made the whole performance seem real.
The performance was hugely enjoyable and the loud music, strong choreography and excellent acting doubled it so. If you are both passionate about music, dance and history, I recommend this performance to you.

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